Contrary to Thoughtlessness

Contrary to Thoughtlessness : Rethinking Practical Wisdom

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This work examines thoughtlessness and seeks to illuminate the necessity and extent that reflection is involved in becoming practically wise within an Aristotelian virtue ethical framework. Derived from an Arendtian reading of Kantian aesthetic judgment, an account of thinking and judging is offered to supplement traditional accounts of practical more

Product details

  • Paperback | 130 pages
  • 154 x 226 x 14mm | 220g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739146165
  • 9780739146163

About Monica Mueller

Monica Mueller (Ph.D. Binghamton University) is assistant professor of philosophy at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio. She specializes in ethics and political philosophy. This is her first more

Review quote

Contrary to Thoughtlessness: Rethinking Practical Wisdom is a significant contribution to virtue ethics. Monica Mueller enriches Aristotelian thought by drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt. Her important innovation is to reconceive practical wisdom in a way that makes explicit the crucial role of reflection. She offers insightful correctives to the existing scholarship on Aristotle, and illustrates concretely the difference that a 'thinking dialogue with oneself' can make. The book is engaging, complex, and deeply thought-provoking. Readers interested in moral development will find much of value here. -- Lisa Tessman, Professor of Philosophy, Binghamton University This book will appeal to Aristotle scholars, to Arendt scholars, and to those of us interested in how virtue ethical approaches are equipped to deal with the evils of our age, with its "devastating social, environmental, political, and moral injustices" (p. 2). Mueller's virtue ethics provides a novel treatment of the problem of "thoughtlessness," that is, the unreflective compliance with social norms that Arendt finds so dangerous. In addition to the treatment of the spectator, the main strength of this book is Mueller's nuanced treatment of Arendtian thinking and judging without presenting them as conceptually linear mental activities In Contrary to Thoughtlessness, Mueller succeeds in opening up Aristotelian practical wisdom in a new way, by supplementing it with ideas inspired by Arendtian thinking and judgment. Like Arendt, Mueller is an exemplar in beginning a conversation that others can take up to work together towards a richer understanding of practical wisdom. In this case, I suspect that Aristotle and virtue ethics scholars, Arendt scholars, and moral and political philosophers concerned about judgment as a way to address global problems will be eager to purchase thisbook and enter with Mueller into this conversation. Springer Science + Business Mediashow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Thoughtlessness Chapter 2: The Insufficiency of Calculative Deliberation Chapter 3: Witnessing Exemplary Action Chapter 4: Rethinking Practical Wisdom Chapter 5: Being a Friend to Oneself; the Reflective Endorsement of Virtueshow more